New Approach to Table Selection
posted in No Limit Hold'em, Poker Strategy on 18 June 2017 by

Meeloche presents an interesting approach to table selection. Perhaps there is an alternative to just looking at preflop percentages and pot sizes…


When it comes to table selection, we still should be focusing on a high players per flop percentage and a good sized average pot. It is also important to be able to see where your money is coming from. If you can’t see any fish at the table, then obviously you better find a new table.

I usually play 3 or 4 tables and I have found that a great way to find fish is to have them come to you. I sit down at an empty 6max table (this could also work for fr if you can play shorthanded) and usually within a few minutes a stack of 75bb or fewer usually sits down where I am very likely to stack him heads up or more and more fishies sit down till eventually you have a full table of players who essentially are dead money. I have found this to work because no reg is going to sit down at a table with no stats or a table with few players. By the time the regs get a seat 1 or 2 of the fishes are busto and usually they have donated their stacks to you. Do beginner players know anything about table selection? No of course not so what they do is they look at the top of their lobby and do one of two things: look for the table with the largest pot size or they just sit down randomly at the first one on the list or one with open seats on it. I don’t recommend using this as your only means to start up tables as tables that are already hot are better usually then starting your own. But when picking your 3rd or 4th table I think this isn’t a bad idea. This idea obviously works better for small stakes but if your heads up game is good it might be a practical way to start one of your tables. I have been using this strategy for starting one or two of my tables and I have found it a good way to ensure that there are fish at your table which in the end is +ev.

Give it a try and let me know what you guys think.


You’re 100% right, i figured this out awhile ago but chose not to post it.

I actually did an experiment with empty tables and had a really nice winrate when i did it. The empty table thing works at nearly any stakes really.



meeloche wrote:
When it comes to table selection we still should be focusing on a high players per flop percentage and a good sized average pot.

I disagree



Fnord wrote:

meeloche wrote:
When it comes to table selection we still should be focusing on a high players per flop percentage and a good sized average pot.

I disagree

Elaborate?


Quite often a player to the flop or average pot size will get inflated after the sucker leaves and he will likely be replaced by a bunch of fishermen.

Also, you’re vastly under-estimating how good a game can be with mostly small and medium pots. Makes it a lot easier to tell where you’re at in a hand and tightish aware players can be easily exploited once you know how.


I don’t think the lobby stats should be used for table selection. Averages tell you nothing about seat availability or where the fish are. Three multitable nits can turn any average to shit, all the while a great seat can be had to the left of a known donater. For this reason, I will try to stick to sites I can datamine and/or prefetch hands before paying my blinds. In this day and age, I think datamining almost is on par w/rakeback, if not, more important.


I just sit down with 50bb and GAMB00L. If I don’t like the game, then I leave.

Few enough players have enough of an edge over me 50 deep that I care much. The guys that can crush me in that range play bigger anyway.


At 400nl i look at players and stack sizes at the table before i enter.


if youve played at your level long enough, not a good thing at 50NL and below, you should have a fish list by now. and you should be only sitting in seats to the left of the bigger stacks. they are likely the loosies on the heater. if you find they are the rock that hit lucky, leave. takes about two orbits.

once you have all the money to your right, and in the loosies’ hands, you should have the tables and seats you want. double check your player notes, sit back, and open your pockets. it should be up to variance now.



Chopper wrote:
you should have a fish list by now

List of regs with post-flop play notes > fish list



Trainer_jyms wrote:
I don’t think the lobby stats should be used for table selection. Averages tell you nothing about seat availability or where the fish are. Three multitable nits can turn any average to shit, all the while a great seat can be had to the left of a known donater. For this reason, I will try to stick to sites I can datamine and/or prefetch hands before paying my blinds. In this day and age, I think datamining almost is on par w/rakeback, if not, more important.

QFT



Fnord wrote:

Chopper wrote:
you should have a fish list by now

List of regs with post-flop play notes > fish list

exactly what i meant. yes, you have your "fish," but anyone you PWN by whatever means you PWN them = FISH LIST.

these are the players you look for when sitting at a table…for whatever SPECIFIC reason.

thank you fnord for forcing me to clarify.



Chopper wrote:

Fnord wrote:

Chopper wrote:
you should have a fish list by now

List of regs with post-flop play notes > fish list

exactly what i meant. yes, you have your "fish," but anyone you PWN by whatever means you PWN them = FISH LIST.

these are the players you look for when sitting at a table…for whatever SPECIFIC reason.

thank you fnord for forcing me to clarify.

Fnord’s statement is QFT. The fish bust out too fast to keep track of regularly. If I can track the regulars and I know how they play, I can exploit them or avoid them. Sit me to the left of a deep stacked player I don’t know yet and I like my chances.


I’ll try this later if it works propely better Wink


I do disagree that beginners do not table select. When I began, I remember looking for short stacks for some reason. I do not think that a beginner generally knows how to table select, but that does not mean they don’t use table selection at all.

An empty table certainly is a new and a very good sounding idea to me. I, however do have a problem with HU play while having more then 4 tables open as do a lot of people. That means less regs are going to try this, which is good.


The original poster’s idea is sound. The fish can use any method of table selection; as long as the "learned ones" avoid the "crap" empty 6-max table, you’re going to be reeling in the dumber / less conventional ones.

My opinion on regs : they’re irrelevant. A Full-Ring table with six players from High Stakes Poker and a couple of donks can be profitable.


Fnord, interesting concepts.

Why do you think a reglist > fishlist considering that (assumingly) we make most of our money/EV from the (reasonably rare) huge fish floating around, and that as long as don’t try to LOLPOZZ them, the regs have a much smaller edge over us (If any if we’re good) than we do over the fish?


i want to put this down before fnord says anything, in case i’m wrong. that way i cant fool myself into thinking i was right.

fish go busto so fast that you are basically lucky if you catch them. regs, however, should be around a lot longer. if you can find their tendencies, and exploit them, you will profit for a longer period of time. since there are so many more regs than fish, you will also have a steadier cash flow. there are/will always be regs.

100 regs with small edges > 1 fish with a large edge. ducy?

find them and exploit them.


I don’t care how good your notes on the regs are, most of your money will still come from the fish.



zook wrote:
I don’t care how good your notes on the regs are, most of your money will still come from the fish.

/agree

That said, information on regs is more likely to be useful tomorrow and a reg list is your best start towards figuring out what’s going on at a given table. If you see 3 regs who play really tight, 1 guy with 75bb and an open seat with position on the that guy it’s a slam dunk. Someone losing lots of money probably won’t be around for long and it’s not hard to figure out what they’re doing wrong.



Quote:
I do disagree that beginners do not table select. When I began, I remember looking for short stacks for some reason.

I think this is a valid point. In starting up empty tables I have noticed that once one short stack sits down more follow and I think this could be one of the reasons along with the reasons I stated above.


open up a new table and sit down with 60bb + 57cents or something. It’s kinda like a berley-trail (google this term if it makes no sense to you).

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